Serena Coetzee

Serena Coetzee

Head of Department: Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology

Professor: Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology

email: [email protected]
Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 3823
Office: Geography Building 1-3.7
Consultation: By appointment via [email protected]za 

Research profile

Serena’s research focuses on the ever-increasing volumes of geographic information and the challenges of making the information findable, accessible and usable. The research is of an interdisciplinary nature, mainly in geoinformatics and computer science. The concept of an SDI (the collection of people, technologies, standards, policies and institutional arrangements for facilitating the sharing and use of geographic information) underlies most of her research, which contributes to understanding and improving SDI practice and theory. Specific research foci are address data, standards, open principles and geovisualisation. Her research has revealed the delicate balance between stakeholders across different levels of governments when making national address data available, accessible and usable.

Serena chairs the Commission on SDIs and Standards of the International Cartographic Association (ICA). She actively participates in international geographic information standardization efforts through the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) technical committee ISO/TC 211, Geographic Information/Geomatics, and nationally through the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) mirror committee. She led the work on ISO 19160-1, Addressing Part 1: Conceptual model, and is currently leading the work on ISO 19160-2, Addressing Part 2: Assigning and maintaining addresses for objects in the physical world. She was also the project lead for different parts of SANS 1883, Geographic information Addresses, published in 2009 and 2018. These standards facilitate the assignment of addresses, e.g. in former townships, rural areas and informal settlements, and they contribute to online validation of addresses required for e-commerce, e-governance, elections, financial intelligence, as well as geocoding for detecting emerging infection clusters.

Currently, Serena represents the Council on Higher Education (CHE) on the South African Committee for Spatial Information (CSI), which coordinates the implementation of the South African Spatial Data Infrastructure (SASDI). From 2016 to 2020, she represented the CHE on the South African Geomatics Council.



  • BSc Computer Science and Methematics - University of Pretoria
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Science (cum laude) - University of Pretoria
  • Higher National Education Diploma (HNED) - University of Pretoria
  • MSc Computer Science (cum laude) - University of Pretoria
  • PhD Computer Science - University of Pretoria


Courses presented

  • GIS 705 - Advanced geospatial data (2020-present)
  • GMC 110 - Cartography (2017-present)
  • GIS 701 - Research methods (2016-present)
  • GIS 702/UNI 792 - Research project (2011-2020)
  • GIS 703/UNI 791 - GIS professional practice (2011-2019)
  • GIS 120 - Introduction to Geoinformatics (2012-2016)
  • COS 787 - Spatial databases (2009-2016)
  • COS 326 - Databases systems (2007-2010)
  • COS 151 - Introduction to Computer Science (2009-2010)
  • COS 130 - Introduction to programming (2006-2008)
  • VRS 780 - Distributed systems (2006-2008)
  • COS 333 - Programming languages (2006)


Research publications

Please click here for the profile on Research Gate. Publications available through the UP repository: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3.

Published by Christel Hansen

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